Rain, progress allow for scaled-back operations at 2 Arizona wildfires

Jul 1, 2021, 4:00 PM
A rainbow spans the sky over the Rafael Fire incident command post. (Megan Jackson Photo via InciWe...
A rainbow spans the sky over the Rafael Fire incident command post. (Megan Jackson Photo via InciWeb)
(Megan Jackson Photo via InciWeb)

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Recent rain and progress in containing two major wildfires that threatened several communities in Arizona’s high country are allowing authorities to scale back operations in some areas.

The top-tier incident management team assigned to a fire that threatened Pine and Strawberry in east-central Arizona turned over command to local units on Thursday and a similar transition to a lower-tier team will take place Friday for a wildfire southwest of Flagstaff in northern Arizona.

The Backbone Fire west of Pine and Strawberry was contained around 76% of its perimeter as of Wednesday while the Rafael Fire southwest of Flagstaff was at 89% containment as of Thursday.

Lightning started both fires and each has burned tens of thousands of acres.

Crews assigned to those fires were mopping up, patrolling and looking for remaining hot spots, officials said in separate statements.

Despite the progress, multiple other fires continued to burn around the state, mostly in remote areas, and authorities issued statements reminding the public that several national forests remained closed to the public due to continued fire danger and that fireworks posted a hazard amid the continuing drought.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Facebook photo/City of Phoenix, AZ USA)...

Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from Nov. 26-28

Phoenix on Sunday having its first sub-50 degree low since March is among the biggest Arizona stories of the weekend.
1 day ago
(Pexels Photo)...

Phoenix temperature hits sub-50 for the first time since spring

Turn the heater on and get those fuzzy socks out-- Winter is approaching as some Valley residents saw some chilly temperatures Sunday morning.
1 day ago
(Facebook File Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...

Phoenix police investigating death of woman following single-vehicle car crash

Phoenix police are investigating the death of a 21-year-old woman following a single-vehicle car accident early Sunday, authorities said.
1 day ago
Syringes with the vaccine Comirnaty of Pfizer against the coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease stan...

Arizona reports 2,274 new COVID-19 cases, 5 deaths on Sunday

Arizona health officials on Sunday reported 2,274 new COVID-19 cases and five deaths.
1 day ago
The 34th annual APS Electric Light Parade returns Saturday, Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. (APS Electric Light Pa...

Electric Light Parade returns to central Phoenix on Saturday

The central Phoenix night will be lit up with holiday colors Saturday during the annual APS Electric Light Parade.
1 day ago
(Over Easy Photo)...

Tired of turkey? Here are some Valley spots for National French Toast Day

Tired of turkey? Besides being Thanksgiving, Thursday is also National French Toast Day. Here are some Valley spots that offer the breakfast delight.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles


What you need to know about spine health

With 540 million people suffering from lower back pain, it remains the leading cause of long-term disability. That’s why World Spine Day on Oct. 16 will raise awareness about spinal health with its theme, BACK2BACK. “BACK2BACK will focus on highlighting ways in which people can help their spines by staying mobile, avoiding physical inactivity, not overloading […]
Sweet James

Best fall road trips to take on a motorcycle

Autumn in Arizona brings the beauty of color-changing leaves and a relief from summer heat. It’s one of the most pleasant times to explore the outdoors, especially on a motorcycle.
PNC Bank

How one organization supports early childhood literacy for the most vulnerable

Nearly two out of every three children in low-income communities don’t own a single children’s book, a fact that ultimately could have profound impacts even before entering kindergarten, according to Arizona nonprofit Southwest Human Development.
Rain, progress allow for scaled-back operations at 2 Arizona wildfires